PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY LITTLE GIRL IN OAKLAND, MARYLAND

A pretty little girl stands on a wicker chair while posing for her portrait at the Pritchard studio in Oakland, Maryland. The child is displaying a serious expression. Her curly hair on each side of her head is held in place by ribbons. She has a sash running across her midriff. I believe that it may signify that she is in mourning although that is just a hypothesis. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card identifies the girl as “Cousin Alice Salter”. Her name is too common to find biographical information about her. The photographer of this cabinet card image is Galusha H. Pritchard. The 1880 US census identifies him as being born in 1850 and as a working photographer. In 1889 he married Ella Pettit. The 1910 US census revealed that Pritchard was still working as a photographer. The Bulletin of Photography (1912) has an announcement stating that Pritchard’s photograph studio was taken over by James Bell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. She looks like the character of Nellie Olsen on Little House on the Prarie. 🙂 I don’t believe the sash to me a mourning designation. They were very popular on girls dresses from 1875 or so onward. Without seeing the actual garment and fabric color we can’t really be sure.

    • Thanks for your comment. Apparently I have difficulty identifying sashes. I believe that in the past, I have occasionally mistaken young kids sashes as being a restraining belt to pose them safely in a chair. I know that this was a practice employed with very young kids. Have you encountered vintage photographs with the aforementioned restraints?

      • Yes definitely. I have seen the sashes used to restrain children on a chair. Usually smaller children. I can’t off the top of my head give an example of course. The thing with fashion is that once we think we know the basics, some new information comes along. Children’s fashions were basically small adult fashions with a few exceptions – pinafore aprons and sashes are two examples. Skirt lengths and undergarments another two.

  2. The thing that strikes me is the body language … she is not a happy puppy. Perhaps she was in no mood (one of those days) to have her picture taken. Or perhaps she was provoked at the photographers’
    choice of composition … standing her in a chair like a little kid. If the latter, I am with her. Such a pretty girl deserves better. Looks like he nearly cropped into her foot (hard for me to see). Fun to speculate.

  3. I agree. Not exactly a well posed photograph. The little girl’s expression tells me that she may be thinking “You can make me pose for this photograph, but you can’t make me enjoy it”.


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